Scottish talent unveiled in ScreenSkills HETV Leaders of Tomorrow

The ScreenSkills High-end TV Skills Fund this week unveiled the 19 mid-level crew identified by industry recommendation as Leaders of Tomorrow. Three Scottish TV crew members have been included in the selection. They are to be championed in a comprehensive programme of mentoring, masterclasses, bespoke training and paid on-the-job training over the next three years.

The Leaders of Tomorrow programme has been created with the aim of meeting industry demand for more effective career pathways to encourage increased diversity in leadership roles within the sector. Half the pool are Black, Asian or minority ethnic, three-quarters are female and two-fifths are based in the nations and regions. 

The pool of behind-the-camera talent was selected from more than 100 applicants who were nominated by a senior industry figure from across high-end TV for a place on the programme.

The successful cohort will have access to expertise and resources tailored to what they need to progress to head of department or to a decision-making role in the future. The programme will provide the Leaders of Tomorrow with:

  • A mentor/champion 
  • Access to an HETV Professionals Pool of industry experts for tailored one-to-one support, advice and expertise
  • Up to three part-funded placements per year for up to three years
  • Bespoke grade and skills-specific training 
  • Leadership and management training 
  • Networking opportunities and introductions.
  • Fifteen places on the programme are being supported by the High-end TV Skills Fund with industry contributions from high-end TV productions, with Netflix and Sky Studios funding an additional place each and the BBC a further two.

The successful 19 are:

Rachel Erskine, Edit, Scotland
Jamie Lee Aird, Production, Scotland
Cory Townsend, Locations, Scotland
Ola Kaminska-Omozik, Accounts, Northern Ireland
David Crewdson, Art dept, South West
Hannah Lewis, Assistant director, London
Heather Crompton, Camera, Yorkshire
Charlotte Richardson, Costume, North West
Rianna Charles, Costume, South East
Emma Marie Cramb, Edit, London
Victoria Nugent, Hair and make-up, Wales
Annie Little, Hair and make-up, London
Sanjay Sharma, Production, London
Kiri Degon, Post-production, London
Payam Hosseinian, Post sound, London
Florence Watson, Production, London
George Thompson, Production sound, London
Chris Bullock, Production sound, South East
Monika Chowdhary Kuczynski, VFX, London

Headshots of the 19 successful mid-level crew selected for the Leaders of Tomorrow programme. Courtesy of ScreenSkills.

Kaye Elliott, Director of High-end Television, said: “We know it is key that industry not only invests in bringing new people in, but also provides effective support to move people up into leadership and management roles. This comprehensive and inclusive programme has been designed to give mid-career professionals who are already rated by their peers the tools to progress into leadership roles and to ensure we have a vibrant and robust industry now and in the future.”

Christine Healy, Chair of the High-end TV Skills Council and COO of Watford & Essex, said: “Given the turbulence of the last year for freelancers, it is more important than ever that we put in place effective support to nurture and retain freelance talent for the industry.” 

Piers Wenger, Director BBC Drama Commissioning, said: “It is important that BBC Drama plays a part in creating a pipeline of leaders in the industry. Being involved in this programme will ensure we are doing exactly that and help nurture the talent of the future.”

Alison Small, UK Grow Creative manager, Netflix, said: "We're delighted to support the Leaders of Tomorrow programme as part of our goal to upskill crew already working in film and television and support the next generation of British talent. This is the best way to spread opportunity right across the UK, diversify the workforce and keep our industry growing at the incredible pace we’ve seen over the last few years."

Amanda Wilkie Sweeney, Head of Production, Drama, at Sky Studios, said: “The UK is a global-leader in television production with a world-class and highly skilled pool of crew and off-camera talent. Working with ScreenSkills and the wider industry, we want to ensure clear pathways for new, diverse talent into the industry and importantly provide training, development and mentoring for off-screen talent to reach their full leadership potential.”

For further press inquiries, please contact Louise Jury, director of communications and marketing on 020 7713 9883/07841 396636 or [email protected]

About ScreenSkills and the High-end TV Skills Fund

ScreenSkills is the industry-led skills body for the screen industries - film, television (including children's, unscripted and high-end), VFX, animation and games.  

They support the continued growth and future innovation across the whole of the UK by investing in the skilled and inclusive workforce who are critical to the global success of the screen sector. 

This programme is supported by the High-end TV Skills Fund with industry contributions from HETV productions.